Kenny Florian throws a knee at Joe Lauzon. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The ‘Battle of Boston’ went in Kenny Florian’s favor last night as he relentlessly pressured fellow Massachusetts native Joe Lauzon before ultimately stopping his foe with an onslaught of unanswered strikes during the latest edition of UFC Fight Night at the at the Broomfield Events Center in Denver, Colorado.
What originally was booked as a friendly matchup between two lightweight contenders slowly evolved into a heated exchange of pre-fight trash talking. The tension between the two was evident from the start of the fight as an intense staredown changed into a quick exchange of punches.
Lauzon quickly down Florian down in the first minute. An unorthodox attempt by Florian to use elbows from the bottom was foiled by referee Herb Dean after one of the blows cut the back of Lauzon’s head open. Florian then used solid submission defense to escape knee bar and heel hook attempts before eventually closing out the round delivering strikes from the top position.
Florian turned up the heat at the start of the second round. A swift body kick led to Florian scoring a takedown and transitioning to half-guard. The veteran of the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter” then rained down unanswered punches and elbows on Lauzon for nearly two full minutes. Despite a good job of covering up and limiting damage, Dean decided that Lauzon had enough, moving Florian even closer to another shot at the lightweight title that was once in his reach.
“Joe’s a great competitor and I knew it was gonna be a tough fight,” Florian said after the bout. “That’s what I wanted.”
UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson discusses the upcoming seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, of which he will serve as one of the coaches along with future opponent Forrest Griffin with RawVegas.
Twelve Fights at UFC Fight Night 13?
It just might be a possibility according to Pro Karate Weekly:
We are pleased to announce that NAAFS veteran Jeff “The Grinder” Cox will be returning to the Octagon on April 2nd as part of a special UFC Fight Night on Spike TV. Cox will be facing TUF Season 5 runner-up Manny Gamburyan.
Rafferty, Knabjian Return Saturday at XFO 22
Former “Ultimate Fighter” season one cast member Josh Rafferty and WEC veteran Kevin Knabjian will both return to action this Saturday at Xtreme Fight Organization’s “Rising Star” event at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Rafferty will attempt to build on a successful two-fight run in 2007 when he takes on fellow welterweight Jay Little. Knabjian will be facing off against an opponent yet to be named.
Making his professional mixed martial arts debut at the show will be Pat Curran, the cousin of top-ranked featherweight Jeff Curran. The younger Curran has won all of his three career amateur bouts.
Robert Drysdale Joins Xtreme Couture
From Xtreme Couture’s official blog:
2007 Abu-Dhabi Absolute Champion Robert Drysdale is the newest member of Xtreme Couture. Robert just moved to Las Vegas, where he is living full time. He is excited to be the newest addition to our Pro Team where he will train in preparation for his MMA debut. Robert will be instructing the Pro Team in jiu jitsu and will teach the jiu jitsu classes at the gym. He is also going to coach our amateur submission grappling and jiu jitsu teams.
Pancrase Announces Card for March 26th Event
Pancrase has officially announced the complete card for it’s next event on March 26th, which will take place at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Miki Shida vs. Marlon Sandro
Izuru Takeuchi vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara
Alavutdin Gadzhiev vs. Hikaru Sato
Takafumi Ito vs. Hacran Dias
Kenji Arai vs. Shinsuke Shoji
Michihisa Asano vs. Yukito
Ichiro Kanai vs. Takenori Sato
Asaki Honda vs. Tomoyoshi Iwamiya
More on Rich Bergeron/Xyience Case
Rich Bergeron has been kind enough to send us a 90-page PDF document outlining his counterclaim against Xyience, which will be heard in Las Vegas court later today.
Photo by Ed Pollard.
Georges St. Pierre came closer to cementing his status as the top welterweight in the world when he gave future UFC hall-of-famer Matt Hughes a drubbing over the course of two rounds before submitting his idol with an armbar during the main event of last night’s UFC 79: Nemesis.
Hughes was originally slated to face fellow Ultimate Fighter 6 coach and current welterweight champ Matt Serra but Serra was forced to pull out of the bout after suffering herniated discs in his lower back during training. Hughes was then given a selective list of opponents that agreed to step in and the former nine-time champion picked St. Pierre in an attempt to try and avenge a prior loss to “Rush” at UFC 65 last year.
However it was obvious from the start of the fight that it was only a matter of time before St. Pierre was going to come away with a win. The Canadian took Hughes down at will throughout the first round, mounting his opponent and connecting with a number of unanswered punches while his opponent held on for dear life.
Hughes found his way back to his feet a couple of times but St. Pierre quickly put an end to that with wrestling skills that have made him consider possibly trying out for the Canadian Olympic wrestling squad next year.
The second round started off much like the first and after mounting and taking his opponent’s back, St. Pierre locked in an armbar that caused Hughes’ face to grimace in pain. The Hillsboro, Illinois native then verbally submitted to referee Steve Mazzagatti, ending the fight.
Many fans showed concern when St. Pierre took the fight on short notice as he would only have a little over a month to prepare for the bout. Training wasn’t an excuse for Hughes during a post-fight interview with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan.
“I came in 120 percent,” Hughes said. “I really trained hard for this fight. I brought in some of the best people and we really had a good game plan. Georges is just a better fighter.”
Hughes also acknowledged that he “had some thinking to do” in terms of continuing his career.
With the win, St. Pierre becomes the interim UFC welterweight champion. He will now wait for Serra to fully recover from his injury and the two will unify the belts at some point next year.
Even though he deserved the win with a show of complete domination, St. Pierre refused to consider himself the welterweight champion, as that distinction is held by the last man to defeat St. Pierre inside the Octagon.
“That’s why I’m going to take off this belt,” St. Pierre said after the fight. “Thanks to the UFC for giving me that; it’s a good honor, but the real champion is Matt Serra. Until I get my belt back, I’m not going to consider myself champion. Matt Serra that night beat me fair and square. He was the better man and I made many mistakes and had a lot of issues that night. Next time when I fight him, it might be a different story and people will understand what I’m talking about.”
We will be going live at 8:00 PM EST with live results of UFC 79: Nemesis, which is taking place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The event is highlighted by Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre battling for the third time in their careers for the interim UFC Welterweight Title and the long-awaited matchup between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the night.
Live results are shown after the jump.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow night’s UFC 79: Nemesis are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
Things heated up really fast during the stare-down between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. Silva empathically ripped off his shirt before approaching Liddell. After an intense stare-down between the two, Silva faked a move towards Liddell and Liddell responded by flipping his opponent the bird. Silva started to walk towards Liddell and officials and trainers all jumped in but order was quickly restored.
Matt Hughes (170 lbs) vs. Georges St. Pierre (170 lbs)
Chuck Liddell (204 lbs) vs. Wanderlei Silva (205 lbs)
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (205 lbs) vs. Ryoto Machida (204 lbs)
Rich Clementi (155 lbs) vs. Melvin Guillard (156 lbs)
Eddie Sanchez (239 lbs) vs. Soa Palalei (262 lbs)
Dean Lister (186 lbs) vs. Jordan Radev (185 lbs)
James Irvin (205 lbs) vs. Luis Cane (205 lbs)
Roan Carneiro (170 lbs) vs. Tony DeSouza (170 lbs)
Manny Gamburyan (155 lbs) vs. Nate Mohr (155 lbs)
Doug Evans (155 lbs) vs. Mark Bocek (155 lbs)
Nate Mohr and Manny Gamburyan will face off in a lightweight battle at UFC 79: Nemesis on December 29th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Mohr made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 9 where he was submitted by lightweight contender Kurt Pellegrino. Pellegrino forced Mohr to tap out with an Achilles Lock close to three minutes into their fight. Mohr bounced back at UFC Fight Night 10 where he earned an unanimous decision over Luke Caudillo.
Gamburyan was a participant on the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter. The cousin of UFC welterweight contender Karo Parisyan made it to the finals against Nate Diaz where he was forced to tap out only seconds into the second round after injuring his shoulder. Gamburyan has not fought since.
The UFC has finalized the card for ‘The Ultimate Fighter 5’ finale which is set to take place Saturday, June 23rd in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale
Main Card (Televised):
B.J. Penn vs. Jens Pulver
Manny Gamburyan vs. Nathan Diaz
Roger Huerta vs. Doug Evans
Floyd Sword vs. Thales Leites
Undercard (May not be broadcast):
Brandon Melendez vs. Joe Lauzon
Andy Wang vs. Cole Miller
Rob Emerson vs. Gray Maynard
Allen Berube vs. Leonard Garcia
Brian Geraghty vs. Matt Wiman